The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration bowed to congressional pressure Friday and said they will disclose information on most of the companies that received loans under the government’s massive small business rescue program.
The names of companies and nonprofits that got loans larger than $150,000 under the Paycheck Protection Program will be released, along with other identifying information, said the agencies in a statement. Loan amounts will only be given within a certain range.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the move represents an agreement with the bipartisan leaders of the Senate Small Business Committee, which is headed by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.). Those senators had asked for all borrowers to be identified; the deal would cover nearly 75 percent of beneficiaries.
“I am pleased that we have been able to reach a bipartisan agreement on disclosure which will strike the appropriate balance of providing public transparency, while protecting the payroll and personal income information of small businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors,” said Mnuchin in the release.
The compromise comes amid growing concern from lawmakers of both parties about the limitations the administration has placed on oversight of its coronavirus response.
Mnuchin ignited controversy last week when he said the Trump administration will not reveal the names of companies and nonprofits that got the PPP loans, which are guaranteed by the government and can be forgiven in full if borrowers use a majority of the funds to pay their workers.
The agencies had expressed worry that such disclosures might reveal proprietary information about the borrowers because the loans are based on payroll.
Totals will be released for loans below $150,000, aggregated by ZIP code, industry, business type and “various demographic categories,” said Treasury and SBA.
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